You’re the One Who’s Lost

by Ryan Clausen

I am the absence of anything, the dark stretch of country road you only land on when you can’t find the highway. No lights, no friends, no gas station. You’ll grip the wheel tighter and slow down, craning your neck down every side street, peering over every hill for city lights, looking for a way out. I pretend not to notice, but I know what the score is.

I know nobody comes through here on purpose. All I got is a lot of overgrown fields and rusty car parts. Chicken wire and railway ties. Sick old horses and bullet-holed street signs. It’s always dark and rainy down this way.

I wish you wouldn’t pretend you didn’t mind. Just tell me the truth, I’m not the long way, I’m not the scenic route, we both know I’m no short cut, you fucked up. You lefted when you shoulda righted. If you were where you wanted to be you wouldn’t be here, but this is where I’m at. The roadkill is gonna keep me warm when you’re gone.

I’m not going anywhere until they move the main road, you’re the one who’s lost. When you see that string of all night semi trucks drifting across the overpass, you’ll know this nightmare is over and you’ll hate yourself for the time you wasted going round and round with me.


Ryan Clausen lives in (and is requesting payment for the removal of the benign yet painful tumor on his spine be made by) the state of Washington.
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